West Ham Women expert unhappy with Reading equaliser in 2-2 draw
We’re delighted to welcome Michelle Irons as our exclusive West Ham Women’s expert. Each week she’ll be giving her views on the biggest talking points at Victoria Road…
Michelle Irons was left gutted after Reading denied West Ham Women all three points with a questionable equaliser on Sunday.
Olli Harder’s side raced into a two-goal lead 35 minutes into the game, but an own goal from Abbey-Leigh Stringer with 20 minutes left on the clock and a late equaliser left them with a bitter pill to swallow.
West Ham fans believed that goal should not have counted, though, as it was unclear whether it actually crossed the line, and Michelle Irons hopes those two dropped points do not end up costing the side going forward.
She told West Ham Zone: “The game on Sunday started very well based on the first half. I think we controlled the game. We specifically controlled the flow of the game and the speed, and the direction it was going.
“Importantly, we put Reading under a lot of pressure and forced them into making mistakes whilst on the ball, resulting in us breaking away quickly on the counter-attack.
“Our taliswoman in midfield was Yui Hasegawa, and what a delight she is on the ball. She is always looking to make something happen. She is a natural with the ball at her feet. We opened the scoring with a well-worked header from a pinpoint cross from Katerina Svitkova.
“I’m really pleased for Lisa Evans as she has been in and out of the side of late. In the second half, we came out and continued with our counter-attacking style, but I thought we lost some of our momenta when Kate Longhurst was subbed due to an injury sustained.
“Reading slowly and stubbornly got back into the game after forcing a free-kick which resulted in a high ball headed into the net by Abbey-Leigh Stringer.
“Finally, a predictable ending for the game with a last-minute dubious equaliser which myself and 1,000 other fans didn’t think crossed the line.
“After such a good performance, it was such a shame the girls didn’t get their reward of three points, but it’s a similar story recently and conceding a last-minute equaliser.
“I hope this won’t be something we regret at the end of the season. Overall a worthy team performance.”
The Ironesses were hoping to bounce back from the 4-0 drubbing at Arsenal, and things started well until Longhurst went off injured.
With goal-line technology not available in the Women’s Super League, the confusion over Reading’s equaliser was not able to be cleared, and the fans and players would have felt let down by the decision.
They travel to Birmingham City for the Cup game on Wednesday before hosting Tottenham Hotspur in the League on Sunday, and picking up victories in both games would be huge.
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